Take The Roaring South American Animals Quiz

By: Olivia Cantor
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The South American continent has a rich animal ecosystem. Some are eye-catching, some are unusual and some are downright weird. Take the South American animals quiz to find out more about these animals and their attributes.

This slow-going reptile can weigh up to 500 pounds, and is the largest of its kind in the world. What is this Galapagos Island reptile?

The giant Galapagos tortoise is the largest of its kind in the world. Remember, a turtle swims, a tortoise does not - generally speaking.

One piranha is not a problem, but more of them can be. What can a school of piranhas do, supposedly?

Piranhas have very sharp teeth that can tear animal flesh. Splashing around in the water attracts them. However, it's actually rare that they have a feeding frenzy.

These incredibly small and brightly colored amphibians have poison that South American tribes use on their darts. What type of hopping amphibian is this colorful killer?

Poison dart frogs have developed very bright colors to advertise that they are poisonous. Although they're usually found in the rain forests of Central and South America, they have somehow been introduced to Hawaii.

Andean condors are said to be the largest flying birds in South America. They have very wide wingspans, reaching up to 10 feet. What do they do when they reach higher altitudes with those wings?

They get up high and just cruise. Wouldn't you?

Blue-footed boobies are birds found in the Galapagos Islands. Aside from the sky blue feet, there's a reason why they're called boobies. What is it?

Boobies get their name from the Spanish word "bobo," which means stupid. They're so curious, they would land aboard sailing ships where they became part of the menu.

Macaws are brightly colored, noisy birds, many of which live in South America. They have become popular pets. What is their common name?

South American macaws are very colorful, and they really stand out from the rest of their surroundings. Not surprisingly, some of them are on the endangered list due to loss of habitat and poaching.

Some eels in South America can really give you a shock. What do they use to make your hair stand on end?

Electric eels have an organ in their bodies that can generate electric charge. In some eels, up to 860 volts can be used.

Kinkajous are South American relatives of raccoons. What do these nectar-loving animals love to eat when they are pets?

Kinkajous have a liking for honey, and are known by their nickname of "honey bears." They aren't known to eat honey in the wild, however.

South America has many animals that resemble others, but aren't really like them at all. In the case of Argentina's Patagonian mara, what domesticated jumpy prairie animal does it look like?

Patagonian maras fill in the niche in South America that rabbits should occupy. However, instead of %0Dhopping, they run a little bit like deer.

The Southern Right Whales usually stay in the Antarctic, but come wintertime, some of them head to South America. Why do they visit warmer waters?

Southern right whales need warmer waters for them to breed. Although these plankton-eating whales are not exclusive to South America, many of them are often seen near the shores of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Peru.

The anaconda is one of the largest snakes in the world. But what makes them creepy is how they kill their prey. How does an anaconda do it?

Anacondas do not have fangs and poison for killing their prey. Instead, they wrap themselves around their prey and crush them to death.

Tapirs look a bit like boars, but this South American heavyweight has a facial feature that will make any pig smirk, because it's not one of them. What is this central facial feature?

Tapir noses are very flexible. In fact, they can be thought of as very short elephant trunks.

Caimans are meat-eating river reptiles. They're often mistaken for their reptile relatives. Who are these kissing cousins, so to speak?

Caimans are actually different from alligators in the way their scales are formed, and the fact that their teeth are longer and narrower. However, in most other ways, they're just like crocodiles and alligators.

The blue morpho is a South American butterfly with bright blue wings. How do they hide these colors when they have to?

Blue morpho butterflies have the blue color on only one side of their wings. The other side usually has colors meant to blend in with their surroundings. Putting their wings together effectively hides the blue parts.

South America is known for its giant otters. However, the population of these sleek and cute animals have been endangered. Why do poachers hunt them?

In South American rivers, the giant otter is at the top of the food chain. Unfortunately, their waterproof and silky furs or pelts are prized by collectors. This has led to the trade in their pelts.

The hoatzin is a vegetarian bird with a very special digestive system. Unfortunately, this means that they have a very pungent smell. What has the smell been compared to?

Hoatzins have specialized stomachs where they have bacteria to break down the vegetables they eat. Because of this, they do smell like manure.

Peru has a special breed of dog that's a lifesaver for asthmatic people. What's so special about them?

Peruvian hairless dogs have little or no fur. They are said to be very clean, with little or no parasites. However, their skin will need moisturizers and sunblock.

Although dolphins can be found in the various oceans and seas around the world, what makes the South American River dolphins so different?

Pink river dolphins in the Amazon can live only in freshwater rivers. Also, the Amazon pink dolphins are among the largest in the world for river dolphins.

Galapagos finches, or Darwin's finches, were important in the theory of evolution. What is it about them that made Darwin think of developing traits?

The Galapagos finches are really 15 different species of the same bird type. How they adapted to their surroundings, particularly their beak sizes and shapes, became an important observation for Charles Darwin.

The capybara is 4 feet long, and can weigh up to 145 pounds. It's the big brother of one of our most common pests. What is its garbage-loving cousin?

The capybara is actually the largest rodent in the world. It lives near forests and rivers, and is a favorite meal for larger predators.

Llamas are the South American cousins of camels as we know them. However, these animals can be very cheeky since they have a bad habit that can hit you right in the face. What is this bad habit?

Llamas, if trained correctly, don't spit at people. Supposedly, they do this to discipline younger members of the herd. Llama hair is usually used for clothes, rugs and even ropes.

Coatimundis are scavenger-type animals that live in the tropical areas of South America. In the USA, their cousins are known for tipping outdoor garbage cans over. What is the name of their US cousins?

Coatimundis and raccoons are closely related. You can see this through their facial markings and striped tails. Like raccoons, coatimundis sleep in trees.

Black panthers are a color variation of this big South American cat. What is the normal name of this big spotted feline?

Jaguars are top-level predators in South America. In fact, jaguars are part of the mythology and religion of many of the ancient South American civilizations.

Ocelots are sometimes kept as large house pets, but are also hunted for their spotted fur. What kind of animal is it?

Ocelots are medium-size wildcats and, and are found in large numbers in Peru and Venezuela. They are sometimes mistaken for smaller jaguars.

Capuchin monkeys are so smart that in the movies, they are usually seen as circus performers. Until recently, how did they also help sick people?

In the past, capuchin monkeys were intensively trained to help paralyzed people in a way similar to assistant dogs. However, safety and medical concerns have stopped this practice.

Guanacos are South American animals from the camel family. These camel blood relatives have a special adaptation for living in high altitudes. What is this special adaptation?

Guanacos have four times the number of red blood cells in a drop of blood as compared to humans. This allows them to absorb more oxygen in their blood, to make up for the low oxygen at high altitudes.

South American eyelash vipers have what look like eyelashes above their eyes. But what reptilian thingies are their eyelashes made of?

The eyelashes of an eyelash viper are actually scales. Scientists believe this is a form of camouflage, as it breaks up their outline.

Manatees of South America are also known as sea cows. However, their closest animal relatives are among the largest land animals in the world. Who are these four-legged cousins?

Manatees are aquatic mammals and are normally gentle and herbivorous. Their relative, the elephant, prefers to stay on land, but they are also that gentle.

Collared peccaries inhabit most of South America, and are seen as far up as Arizona. Like the wild boars they are mistaken for, what is their defensive weapon?

The collared peccary isn't classified as a hog or pig anymore, but they closely resemble boars. Their tusks are rather small, making them look like large canine teeth.

The Galapagos batfish is one of South America's weirder fish. Although it is an awkward swimmer, what can it do well that most other fish cannot?

Galapagos batfish use little "legs" to walk along the seabed. They also have bright red lips, which acts as a marker for their species.

Panamanian golden frogs are both brightly colored and poisonous, with a unique way of communicating with each other. How do they do it?

These frogs live near fast-moving, noisy streams. Scientists think that that is the reason why they created a sort of dance-like sign language to communicate with each other.

Sloths are chill animals, when you look at them. What is it about them that makes them look so relaxed?

Sloths are tree-hugging animals that live in the South American rainforests or jungles. Their very slow movements are a lifestyle adaptation to help conserve energy.

Golden lion tamarins are small but eye-catching monkeys. These longhaired primates have another trait that makes them look like animal kings. What is it?

Golden lion tamarins, or marmosets, are reddish-orange monkeys that have long hair around their faces and ears. They're still on the endangered species list, but they are making a population comeback.

The maned wolf is a terrifying, long-legged animal in South America. But it's not actually a wolf. What animals are its closest relatives?

The maned wolf's closest blood relative is a type of dog. Unlike most other large wild animals of its kind, it does not form packs, usually hunting alone. The fur around their necks is meant to make them look larger than they actually are.

South American sword-billed hummingbirds use their beaks to feed on nectar from flowers. Since they feed on flowers with very long bodies, what's so special about their beaks?

Sword-billed hummingbirds have beaks longer than their bodies. The birds use their feet to clean themselves, since they can't use their beaks.

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